Archive | Home Renovation RSS feed for this section

The big reveal – my dream kitchen!

24 Sep

This is my most favourite reveal to date…

As you may have noticed, I love to cook & bake.  I have never had a proper kitchen to be able to do so in before so this was a room I wanted to take extra special care in planning.  The kitchens while I was in university consisted of a single counter which also housed a double sink, dish drying rack and microwave which meant there wasn’t any counter space.  Once hubby & I finished university (we met while I was in my third year – we were roomates, moved in through mutual friends but that’s another story!) and moved closer to a bigger city and into a small one bedroom apartment.  The apartment wasn’t fancy – it was an older building and the kitchen had even less counter space!  While we were living there I started baking cakes (fancy fondant cakes) and let me tell you, rolling out huge sheets of fondant on a tiny surface is not fun! 🙂

When we stepped into the kitchen of the house we just bought my stomach jumped.  Let’s face it – whenever you have people over, they inevitably end up in the kitchen, was I ready to have people in my kitchen?  Hubby at that moment walked up beside and smiled and told me to picture the kitchens in the magazines.  It might take a while but we would do it!  Once our offer was accepted on the house there began the million (maybe two million) trips to Sears Liquidation Centre, Sears Outlet Centres, Home Depots, Ronas, Lowes – you name it we were there!  I knew I wanted stainless steel appliances but how could I make them fit within our budget?  Helllllllllo Sear Liquidation Centre!  Essentially it’s a scratch and dent place but it’s first come first serve which means you need to go there every weekend (and we did – for a couple months!) to find exactly what you want.  For example, I had fallen in love with a Samsung fridge (which was wayyyyy out of our budget) but one faithful day we walked in and there it was at 70% off the regular price.  I stood in front of the fridge to guard it as Jeff ran to find an associate!   Signed, sealed, delivered it was ours ❤  That is essentially the same story for every piece in our kitchen (well, our house!).  We searched and searched to find the absolute best price on everything – took a lot longer but it allowed us to do more and of course doing almost all of the work in the house (the only thing I wouldn’t let Hubby do was hang the kitchen cupboards – plaster walls, I was a little nervous!) took longer but really stretched those dollars!

If you’re been reading my blog, you must remember our kitchen before’s.  Yes – it’s scary.   Here’s a run down of what we did to turn it into my favourite space:

  • Opened the space up – goodbye walls
  • Moved the sink to underneath the window – who wants to stare at a wall when washing dishes?
  • Replaced the cupboards
  • Added a quartz counter top (I wish I could capture this in a picture better – it has pieces of glass throughout it so it sparkles when the light hits it)
  • Did a marble floor (we caught a lot of flack over this – it’s a high maintenance floor but once I saw it I couldn’t imagine anything else in this space – it is so beautiful)
  • Added a back splash
  • The facet is touch activated – a must for anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen!  No more guck all over the facet!
  • New kitchen light – and missing is the 3 hanging lights over the island (to come soon!)
  • Added a giant island – critical for my cakes, and we added a few stools so it doubles as a cool little breakfast nook!

Before I refresh your memory as to what we started with and our dream kitchen I’d like to send a quick note out to our friends and family.  Thank you all for your help, time, conversations and keeping us sane throughout all of this.  Buying a house and doing all of these renos at once was certainly a feat that we couldn’t have done without the love from all of you.  We are so grateful to have amazing people like you in our lives.  Don’t worry – we’re going to take a break before we tackle the basement 😉


This was looking into the kitchen from the top of the stairs

This was looking into the kitchen from the dining room

Looking out of the kitchen towards the stairs.

And drum roll please…..

Sigh – isn’t it beautiful? That island is PERFECT for rolling out fondant!

The kitchen overlooks the dining room – which is great because I love entertaining!



Reveal – cozy master bedroom!

14 Sep

You might remember the before pictures of the master bedroom – scary!  The half ripped down walls, signature terrible floors and certainly lots of work to be done to make it the blissful place that a master bedroom should be!

I would like to say that this is only the beginning – next on my project list for the master bedroom is a homemade fabric headboard and wispy beautiful white curtains hanging from the ceiling like a four poster bed…  And of course – more pillows!! 🙂

I’ll put a call out there too – I just got a sewing machine and will slowly be learning how to sew.  One of my first projects will be curtains for the windows.  Take a look at them – what do you think I should do?  Tall, short, patterned, solid?!  Curtains are my LEAST favourite part of decor – for some reason I can never find anything I like!!

Here’s the reveal…. but before we can reveal we must revisit where we came from 🙂  Enjoy!

Remember the lovely closet before?

And the window before….

Perfect for a snuggle! I’m sad the picture didn’t turn out with the lamps… I’ll have to take another picture of the lamps (an amazing find on Kijiji!) and the sticks!

My gorgeous new closet! Oops – we’re missing a piece of molding above the door 🙂

Annnnd what I need your help with! What should I do with this window for a covering?! Right now we have a blackout shade out of pure necessity. Help!

Next reveal – blue bedroom becomes our guest room!

4 Sep

As I sit down to write this post, I have the Sausage & Spinach Pasta Bake cooking in the oven (it’s smelling really good!!) so you can expect a review post soon.   🙂

Back to the task at hand – I am very excited to show you our new “blue” room.  I have to break the news to you – we didn’t keep the lovely swirl clouds 😦  But I think it looks a wee bit better than the last time you saw it.  Here’s a quick run down of what we did:

  • Paint!  This was essential in this room… it took a couple of white coats on the ceiling to rid the blue skies and clouds.  The wall colour is the same in all three bedrooms and I already can’t wait to paint.  Hubby picked out the paint colour and wanted to paint all the rooms the same colour so we could just buy one large pail of paint but I am not a big fan at all!  It’s kind of an army green mixed with grey… keeping my eyes peeled for a sale on paint!
  • As you’ll know from the last post, the floor was a stick tile floor whereas the rest of the flooring throughout the house was hardwood.  I started in one corner and started peeling, worried about what I was going to find underneath.  What did I find you ask?  Another layer of stick tile…. And under that?!  HARDWOOD!  Booyah!  It took quite a while to peel the stick tile layers off and it’s not overly fun to sit on the floor while you’re doing this – you end up sticking to the floor.  It was funny though!!
  • We added new doors and ran new mouldings around the floors, window and doors.
  • I had a spare window covering so we put that up until I learn how to sew and put a new curtain up.  I bought a sewing machine off Kijiji for $30 – I can’t wait to start learning!
  • The long dresser in the room is from Ikea and it’s one we had in our master bedroom before we moved – I found it was too bulky in our master now and with the really large closet it wasn’t necessary!
  • Another fabulous Kijiji find was the bed frame and matching side table (it’s actually attached to the bed frame!) they were actually the matching set to the dresser and we got it for under $100 for both – neither the bed frame or the side table had a scratch on them!  Brand new we’d be looking at over $300 for both of them.  We had an extra mattress from family so that didn’t cost anything!
  • What am I missing?  I am still looking for a mirror to put over the dresser 🙂

Enough talking – here’s the reveal!  Just to remember what we came from….

The scary blue room!

And who could forget the beautiful clouds?

And where we are now!  Is it comfy enough that you’d want to stay over a night?!


Cute painting eh? We got it from my home town fair a couple of years ago from a local artist!

What do you think?!

Next reveal… the bathroom!!

27 Aug

I go back and forth for which is my favourite update – the kitchen or the bathroom.  They are two rooms that I am completely in love with ❤

If you remember the “before” post of the bathroom, this room needed a bit of love. While the bathroom wasn’t big enough for the jacuzzi whirlpool tub I had drooled over (hello unfinished bungalow basement!) I was very excited about the possibility of the double sink vanity.  Here’s a quick rundown of what we updated.

  • You will often hear when people begin renos that they uncover some surprises.  This was no different.  While taking out the subway tile (yes, in my original post we had talked about keeping it but it ended up being torn out because of the tub) we uncovered a small bomb shelter.  From ceiling to floor all the way around the bathroom was a minimum of 2″ of concrete… I think hubby’s friends are still cursing him for having to remove this!
  • Once the walls and concrete was removed, we added insulation (there was none in there previously!) all the way around.
  • The bathroom light switch was located directly beside the shower which made me more than a little nervous so I was hoping to move it but due to where the beams were in the wall we were left with either leaving it there or moving it to the outside of the bathroom…. so it’s on the outside.
  • The vanity – *long sigh here*.  The house was built in the late 1950’s so the dimensions for the vanity back then was much different than standards today.  We were able to have a vanity that was max 69″ long and max 19″ wide.  The length wasn’t our problem, it was the width.  Standard today for vanities is 21-22″.  We spoke with more companies than I care to remember, drove all over the place checking out different stores and were finally left with the option from of “why don’t you saw the back of the vanity off”?  Needless to say we were almost ready to give up.  I finally found a company from BC that had gorgeous vanities that were actually 19″ wide!!  I thought it was too good to be true, but then also thought about the million dollars it was going to cost to ship it from BC to ON.  Luckily, the vanity ended up being delayed by a few weeks (why is this lucky you’re asking?) so they ended up refunding our shipping costs – yay!!
  • Hubby & his brother tiled in the tub enclosure and tiled the bathroom floor (it looks beautiful!!).
  • Oh and not to be forgotten, we were walking around Home Depot one day and found an awesome deep soaker tub sitting on the floor with a ridiculously cheap clearance price on it.  We ran to find an associate and they informed us that someone had returned that tub to them and they didn’t carry the tub at that store so they needed to get rid of it – SCORE!!

Our bathroom before….

Our bathroom after!

Shower before…

Still a few tweaks needed (caulking around the tub, cover for the curtain rod, recessing the shower head in the wall) but already much, much better than before!

Drumroll please….

25 Aug

I’m so excited!  The first reveal!!

Before I can go any further I need to give HUGE thank you to our friends and family who have spent their time helping us make the mess and clean it up to make it beautiful ❤  We couldn’t have done it without the support and love from you guys – you rock!!  Other than hubby’s uncle, none of us do this for a living.  There were many projects that didn’t start until many, many YouTube tutorials were watched, blogs were read and questions were asked with Home Depot, Lowes and Rona associates.   We weren’t without our mistakes too, you learn from them and move on!

We’ll start with the living room and the dining room.  I’ll run through a quick laundry list of what we’ve done…

  • You will notice that our lovely fake random brick wall in the living room is gone.  This was in place because at some point there must have been a wood burning stove there but it was long gone by the time we got the house.  The walls were plaster so this was tricky – once we removed the wall we needed to drywall it and make it as seamless as possible.  Luckily, hubby’s uncle is a drywaller and was able to come down and help us in the mess of it all!
  • The floors have been refinished and stained with an ebony colour stain (they are BEAUTIFUL – but boy are they hard to keep clean!).  Refinishing the floors was a chore… We rented a large and small sander from Home Depot and spent a weekend sanding all the floors down.  It is finicky, you can’t stay in one spot too long and you’ve got a big divot in the floor.  If you’re gearing up to do this yourself – it’s not terrible, it just takes time and patience.  The stain & sealer were another story.  Hubby & I were working full time and the coats needed to be put on every few hours, this made putting multiple coats on the floor tricky.  Hubby’s brother was able to come by and put on the stain and top coats for us during the day so unfortunately he took the brunt of the work there.  He said that he could taste and smell the stain/sealer for days, the smell is super powerful and seeps in everywhere!  Note to anyone attempting to do this – make sure you do it at some point in the year that you’re able to have all the windows open for days at a time!
  • The walls have been painted – I believe the colour is called Battleship Grey by Behr.  I LOVE this colour and carried it through the living room, dining room and hallway.
  • We replaced all the moldings through the rooms in the house.

Living room before….

Living room after!

Dining room before…

Dining room after!





Back to the before tour – last one before the reveals!

23 Aug

Eeeeee!!  I’m super excited – not for these bedrooms because they’re, well, interesting to say the least but we’re only one post away from starting the reveals!

The bedrooms – where to begin?

We’ll start with what we call bedroom #3 or the blue room.

Welcome! This room was certainly something else. From the crazy blue colour to the stick tile floor it certainly needed some work. Hubby and I were a little disappointed when we saw the floor in here – the rest of the house was hardwood (in really rough shape but that could be fixed) but this room was stick tiled. Who knew what we would find underneath!

Oh how could I forget to mention the clouds?! They were a fan favourite 🙂

And one last view – decent sized closet but no door! Good news though – hardwood floors peeking out of the closets 🙂

Welcome now to room #2 or as it was affectionately called the pink room. Our family joked that we should leave the paint colours for these two rooms and when we started a family whether we had a girl or boy we would have the perfect room ready! This picture helps demonstrate what rough shape the floors were in – they definitely needed some TLC!

Here’s a quick snapshot of the pink room’s closet – it’s a decent size as well but that door was going to have to go!

Yes, this is how we bought the house – pre renos! This ladies and gentlemen is our master bedroom! It looked like the previous owner had tried to take the wall out to accommodate a larger closet – you can tell by looking at the floor on the closet it must have been two small doors leading into this huge space inside. We had to give thanks – they’d already done some of the work for us 🙂 All that was left was to take the rest of the drywall down, frame it up to fit our new closet doors and it would be done! This room was the same story as the previous, you can see the floor was pretty tough & the old style door!

This is a pic of the window in the master bedroom – nice and big! Finding curtains might be a challenge – grrr custom sizes!

Before I go I thought I’d share this funny picture with you. This was taken in the doorway of one of the bedrooms. It looked like the previous owner had tried to refinish the hardwoods in the living room/dining room and hallways and had simply closed the doors in each room so you couldn’t tell they didn’t match! The strange things people do….

Tour continues… the bathroom before!

7 Aug

YIKES!  First let me start this off with an apology.  Who starts a blog and waits this long between posts – oops!  I am sorry and will work at being more diligent with my blogging 🙂  In my defense, it was a long weekend here and we were busy!

Back to the business… I would like to introduce you to my bathroom.  Where to start on things I wanted to change 🙂  The first thing I noticed when I walked in was the GIANT vanity which made me super excited as a double vanity was definitely on the wish list.  There was subway tiles all the way around the bathroom and I thought they were cool!  By keeping the subway tiles it would help us move faster with the bathroom renovations – yipee!!  This was key – with only one bathroom in the house we would need to be efficient and smart about our renovations.  New toilet and flooring was a must and the shower was currently similar to a `Bathfitter` type so that was going to be replaced as well.  The light for the bathroom was right beside the shower and I found that a little strange… and dangerous!  This was definitely one of the renos that surprised us – can`t wait to share our after!!

Stay tuned – the bedrooms are next and then I`ll start the reveals!


Look at all that space – oh the possibilities!!

There are no words….

Subway tiles and a poorly put together bathfitter tub enclosure!